Tag Archives: J Press

That Ivy Style Exhibit

Hello-Hello, happy middle of the week to everyone.

Today’s schedule mandates brevity, so we’ll keep the post to one topic. It is a subject I should have written about months ago, hopefully it isn’t tedious for too many readers.

Hickey Freeman Blog

Hickey Freeman Blog

We’re talking about the Ivy Style exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, unfortunately it closed in January. More from the Museum’s show notes.

“Ivy style” is one of the most enduring and recognizable sartorial modes in the world. It began as the “Ivy League Look” on the quads and in the libraries of elite, all-male, American universities, and consists of a small repertoire of classic items, such as Shetland tweed jackets and Oxford button-down shirts, plus the more casual madras shorts and khaki pants.

Yours truly is beyond chagrined at not having written about this sooner, at the very least before the exhibition closed, arrggh. Several pieces from the show: left to right, a Brooks blazer with 1923 Princeton insignia, another with Princeton’s 1919 insignia, and a 1916 Yale emblazoned blazer.

The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT

More from Hickey Freeman’s blog:

Many forget that the “Ivy style” as we know it began as a more formal way of dress on campuses like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, which eventually spread beyond those all-male universities. In blue blazers with gold buttons, madras prints, bowties and pocket squares, the exhibit proves this iconic way of dressing continues to influence today’s designers.

Three more pieces from the exhibition, a classic raccoon coat, a Chipp madras jacket and linen suit, correctly described by Art Info as Ivy staples.

ArtInfo.com

ArtInfo.com

Art Info’s story includes perspective from the Museum’s deputy director:

While the Ivy look is pretty democratic these days, with everyone from H&M to Hermes turning out brass button peacoats and embroidered smoking slippers, this wasn’t always the case. “If you look at pre-World War II images, you’re talking about more of an elitist group of people, people with more money who could send their children to college” Mears said.
More recent looks.
Via StyleSight

Via StyleSight

From The Journal’s review of the show:
Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Arrow, Hathaway and Gant—these are Ivy eternals. Chipp, an offshoot of J. Press, would expand and popularize the “Go to Hell” look, a mix of bright colors normally considered outside the masculine palette—coral, yellow, mint—and constituting a casual smack at the status quo.
Below, one of the tableaux from the exhibition via the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton '60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton ’60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Back to The Journal piece by Laura Jacobs:

Ivy-style clothes need not come at great expense; they need not be new; but they must hit the ineffable balance between carefree, careless and correct. I have never forgotten the scorn of a young man commenting on Nantucket Reds that weren’t bought at Murray’s in Nantucket. They would never fade to the proper shade of shrimp pink and so they were impostors—”not our sort of people” pants. Getting the uniform wrong locks you out of the tribe.

Below left, items circa the twenties, on the right, an Arrow shirt signed by Harvard’s 1933 Football Team.

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

From Women’s Wear Daily’s story:

Ivy League style permeates nearly every fiber of American fashion, and a new exhibition at The Museum at FIT delves into its history.

It explores the “decline and resurgence” of Ivy League fashion and the rise of the preppy movement.

George Chinsee/Women's Wear Daily

George Chinsee/Women’s Wear Daily

The WWD article quotes Town & Country’s G. Bruce Boyer, he was a collaborator on the show:

Boyer said the show is “very timely,” since “every Italian brand today is trying to do the authentic Brooks Brothers button-down. And look at Thom Browne and Michael Bastian — they take great traditional looks and make them hip and contemporary.”

I didn’t realize the origins of the polo coat, more from the exhibit microsite:

Many garments have been derived from the game of polo, including this camel hair overcoat that was originally used as a “wait” coat by British polo players during “chukkas” (the term for polo’s periods of play). In design, it was at first little more than a heavy bathrobe type wrap coat, but when British polo teams began making regular visits to the U.S. in the 1920s, it was modified and became popular on elite college campuses.

Ivy Style Microsite

Ivy Style Microsite

Details magazine offered this:

While traditional J. Press and Brooks Brothers gear features prominently in the exhibit, it’s fun to see styles loosen up and evolve over the years, from the formal evening ensembles of the 1920s to the preppy sweater-and-shorts combos of the fifties and sixties.

Details

Details

Even though I missed seeing the exhibit in person, there is a wonderful book of essays accompanying the exhibition, edited by Ms. Mears.

Yale University Press

Yale University Press

More on the book from its publisher, Yale University Press:

Ivy Style celebrates both high-profile proponents of the style—including the Duke of Windsor, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Miles Davis—who made the look their own, and designers such as Ralph Lauren, J. McLaughlin, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Bastian, and Thom Browne, who have made it resonate with new generations of style enthusiasts.

Ivy Style is also available at Amazon and other outlets.

One of the best parts of the exhibit is the way curators drew upon the blogging community, several of my favorite blogs were involved in a variety of ways. Christian Chensvold over at the Ivy Style blog has an essay in the book discussed above, he has several stellar posts on the show. One offers a delightful video walk-through of the exhibit hosted by Richard Press.

Muffy Aldrich of Daily Prep renown is another author I admire tremendously and love reading, she donated items for use in the exhibit. I think you’ll enjoy this April post showing preps for the show. TDP was also featured in a Symposium affiliated with Ivy Style, for a real treat spend some time on this post, the entire slide show about Muffy’s blog is viewable.

John Tinseth writes The Trad, always enjoyable and a place where I have lurked for years, he was part of the Symposium as well. In this post you can see loads of photos from the exhibit, including the vintage dorm room shown below.

The Trad

The Trad

Dusty at Maxminimus is yet one more writer I regard with great admiration, he was also part of the Symposium and this post details that experience brilliantly.

The show may have closed in January, but hopefully you will be able to enjoy it virtually via some of the links included above.

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One more tidbit, anyone interested in a new personalized phone case might want to visit the always-wonderful Nautical by Nature blog. We’re just tickled to be sponsoring a giveaway for one of our Preppy Planet custom cases.

Nautical by Nature

Nautical by Nature

Even if you don’t need a case, pop in and say ‘hey’ to Kate, she is the bee’s knees.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People

That Ivy Look, & Other Monday Musings

Hello-Hello, and Happy New Week to everyone!

We begin with a look at one of the WSJ stories we enjoyed reading in Saturday’s paper, “The Return of the Ivy Look“. In the story Darrell Hartman looks at the style’s recent rise in popularity among those generally attracted to more mainstream fashions.

“Didn’t go to an Ivy League school? Never played a team sport in your life? No problem! Jock-inspired styles cribbed from the golden age of collegiate athletics will win big for spring”

F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal,

In explaining the actual look, the piece quotes a longtime J. Press associate as well as our friend Christian Chensvold from Ivy Style:

“Ivy League style was something that just was, as opposed to something intended to create an effect,” said David Wilder…

At least it was for anyone who was the real deal—in other words, “old-money guys who’d all gone to prep school, had that natural nonchalance, and looked like they’d been living in their clothes since the day they were born,” Mr. Chensvold said.”

Mr. Hartman discusses the resurgence in popularity for what many call ‘heritage brands,’ those mentioned above as well as others, like Brooks Brothers, while also considering some of those new to the genre, including Polo Ralph Lauren and Band of Outsiders.  Below, two pieces from Band of Outsiders.

One of our favorite books is also referenced:

“That species is the revered subject of “Take Ivy,” an influential study of elite Northeastern campuses published in 1965 by a team of fashion-savvy Japanese writers and photographers. For years a cult item among fashion insiders, the book was finally released in U.S. stores (including the ever-trendy J. Crew) this summer, flooding the menswear world with images of wholesome-looking ’60s undergrads bent over books in libraries, strolling across leafy quads and—perhaps most importantly—demonstrating a robust enthusiasm for sports.

Via The Fox is Black

There’s much more info and insight in the WSJ story, we happily recommend this one, it is a good read.

The book cited above, Take Ivy, was discussed at length in many articles, The Daily Mail offered The Ultimate Guide to Ivy League Chic Straight from Japan last fall.

Written around a collection of photographs by Teruyoshi Hayashida, Take Ivy proves how little the look has changed over the past 50 years.

The book deconstructs the ‘casual, yet neat’ style favoured by students at the eight Ivy League universities, such as the shirt-and-Bermuda-shorts look, and varsity colours.”

Via The Daily Mail

BTW, if interested in Take Ivy, we still have a limited number of copies, the book may be found here.

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Next, we wanted to share a few styles from the upcoming collaboration between designer Sophie Theallet and Nine West.

Courtesy Images via StyleList

Many of the styles are definitely Pretty in Pink, these pieces are made with a silk repp stripe.

Courtesy Images via StyleList

We are very impressed with the ballet flats, the styles will be available in more than just the pink color palette.

Courtesy Images via StyleList

The collection is slated for a May launch.

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Frequent readers know we have a fondness for Kate Spade, the styles are attractive and the company’s whimsical approach to marketing is a breath of fresh air.  Another reason we like the company?

Kate Spade

It’s open approach to online sharing. Above, an illustration for one of many free cyber Valentines that may be sent to anyone you choose; below, a look at how a full card appears.

Kate Spade

We show the artwork from two more cards below, but be assured there *are* many designs offered that are not pink, click here to peruse the pretty options.

Our thanks to the one and only College Prepster, Miss Carly, for the original tip on this!

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A quick note of the social sort for those near our nation’s capitol next week, Vineyard Vines is throwing a party to launch its spring collection.

Vineyard Vines via Sky Blue Events

V2 has partnered with our friends at Sky Blue Events for next Wednesday’s do at the retailer’s new Tyson’s store; the fun begins at 5pm, click here for more info.

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We leave you with two quick hits, the first involves this weekend’s bright and sunny Lilly fashion show at the Ringling Museum of Art.  The show was a fundraiser for the Museum, and the always delightful She Blogs Couture by the Sea was in attendance and shared *outstanding* images of the event on her blog.

The second comes to us via a gracious reader. Last week we showed the Sperry Top-Sider keychain in a post, but sadly, it sold out very quickly.

Sperry Top-Sider

That generous reader told us about these Rainbow Sandals Keychains.

We want to thank our kindly commenter for the link.

And with that, we say goodbye until next time.

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Filed under Collaborations, Gossip Girl, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink

Collaborations of a Preppy Kind (Ahem) & “New Prep”

If this isn’t a glorious fall day, we’re not sure what is; we hope yours is equally bright and beautiful.

We have all manner of collaborative partnerships to share, almost all with a prep slant. We begin with one involving a longtime Princess fave, J. Press, and Urban Outfitters.

NY Magazine

NY Magazine has more:

“J. Press, the preppy menswear label beloved by every Ivy Leaguer with Wall Street ambitions, has partnered with Urban Outfitters to make a line of sweaters, ribbon belts, ties, vests, and shirts. The collection features a tie in Princeton orange, a scarf in Dartmouth green, and a belt in Cornell red, among other collegiate-inspired items that are perfect for frolicking around the quad and spilling beer.”

Womenswear inclusion in a future J. Press collaboration would make us a very happy camper indeed.

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Next, a partnership we have previously mentioned, and one that has had us more than a tad nervous.

Fred Perry

Yes, it is the Amy Winehouse Fred Perry collection, definitely in the You Can’t Make this Stuff Up category.

Via

While the talented performer’s troubled history would make it easy to mock the line, the reality is that there are many appealing pieces, especially for those of us hopelessly lost in the fifties.

It is unlikely we shall acquire anything from the line, for as much as we like many of the items, we also recognize our limitations, knowing we would forever associate pieces with Ms. Winehouse and the frequently unfortunate circumstances she frequently finds herself in, despite her amazing talents.  However, it *is* an extremely fun group to graze, click here to do just that.

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Our next collection has received oodles of coverage, and we are more than a little late to the party on this one. (“Late to the party” being a teevee snooze news term referencing ‘old news’ ((yes, an oxymoron, we understand that)), perilously akin to ‘moldy oldie,’ news coverage that should not be allowed to float out over the airwaves.) Of course we are talking about the Lanvin H&M collection.

There are some amazing party frocks, among other goodies.

The Guardian has more, referencing Lanvin design genius Alber Elbaz.

“The collection, entitled Lanvin Hearts H&M, includes party clothes and accessories for women and men and, unmistakably, carries the Elbaz design signature.”

The line approaches “we’ll take one of each” levels. Unfortunately, the Prepatorium is not located near an H&M, and the company does not sell online in the US.

The word ‘droolworthy’ comes to mind.

How popular does H&M expect the collection to be? We go back to the Guardian for that answer.

“A spokesman for the brand said at the preview: “We expect it to sell out that day.” H&M will limit shoppers to two versions of the same dress in an attempt to prevent the growing practice of eBay flipping, but the spokesman admitted that it was impossible to control.”

We can see why.

After all, as we are wont to say here at Princess InterGalactic HQ, “Life is better with a bow.”

The collection launches November 23, to see all of the goodies, pop over to Vogue UK for the lookbook.  Sigh.

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Our final collaborative endeavor involves a perennial favorite, The Gap, and an unlikely partner, Valentino.

Via High Snobette

It is a very small line, only seven pieces, launching in late November, but only available at Gap stores in London and new Milan shop, as well as online at the super-hip Colette.

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We want to do what we believe is called a ‘shout out’ to friend and fab designer Kiel James Patrick.

Providence Journal

His hometown paper has done quite the spread on his growing company, describing his creations as “New Prep,” perhaps a surprise to Kiel, certainly an old school prep if ever we met one.  We love that the story points that it was Sarah Vickers, Kiel’s longtime partner and collaborator, who suggested he actually start the company.  (Go Sarah!)  We are proud to carry many of Kiel and Sarah’s designs here at the Princess, including KJP headbands and earrings.

It’s always nice to see good things happen to good people, especially these two.

The Providence Journal/Kris Craig

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We leave you with a quick Sales & Savings alert:

Polo Ralph Lauren

Polo Ralph Lauren is doing its “Private Sale” (don’t get us started on the ‘privacy’ of said sale), offering up to 40% off regular prices, as well as an additional 15% off the 40% off. Use promo code NOV0410 to receive the additional discount.  Also offering discounted goods, Bergdorf Goodman.

The retailer’s fall sale kicked off today.

Until next time, grins and giggles!

 

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Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Is Prep Dead? (More Importantly, How Did We Miss This?)

Hello-Hello, is everyone ready for a weekend?

We thought it was time for another True Prep update, the volume of media surrounding the book is significant, including multiple declarations that ‘prep is dead’; in at least one instance responsibility for this hypothetical occurrence is linked directly to the book.

We begin with this headline from a September NPR story:

We haven’t heard the entire NPR story, but did read what is posted online and were unable to decipher exactly how the book’s existence translated into a sign that prep was dead.  The NPR story does carry a lengthy quote from this story in The Atlantic:

As always, the Atlantic review is very well done, essentially positing that ‘prep’ has  been absorbed by a larger, international class.  From the piece by Benjamin Schwarz:

“Whereas OPH was crammed with fine-grained analysis— defining, say, the subtle distinctions between Brooks Brothers (mainstream), J. Press (old guard), and Paul Stuart (urbane)—True Prep’s analysis seems vague and flabby. Whereas OPH’s preppies belonged to a distinct and inward-looking subculture, the preppies of True Prep, defined largely by what they buy and wear, are in many ways indistinguishable from fancily educated professionals.”

The writer doesn’t fault the skill set of authors Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, looking instead at the consumption habits of the era, particularly those of the conspicuous kind.

“Cracked heirlooms, threadbare antique rugs, sturdy L.L. Bean boots, duct-taped Blucher moccasins, and workhorse Volvo station wagons defined OPH’s aesthetic. True Prep’s preppies, armed with BlackBerrys and iPods, wear Verdura jewelry and Prada and vintage Gucci loafers, tote Goyard and Tory Burch bags, and adorn their desks with tchotchkes from Smythson (a firm whose success, Ian Jack notes in The Guardian, has been built “on selling baubles to the impressionable rich”).

It’s no secret we whined struggled with some of the brands featured in True Prep. (For Ms. Birnbach’s comments regarding the J. Crew metallic Top-siders at J. Crew, simply click here.) We have been vocal about the volume of J. Crew & Burberry products showcased in the book.  Frequent readers know the tragic truth: TP and The Consort are two boring, old-school preps.  Our style is basically no style.

However, we do take issue with this claim from a column in the Journal, the headline reads “Preppy Pitfall: All That Madras, Not Enough Effort.” It is the subhead that is irksome:

Did Lisa Birnbach’s original ‘Handbook’ drive people lazy?”

Eric Felten cites TOPH (The Official Preppy Handbook) as a factor.

“One simply mustn’t try too hard. A key principle of what Ms. Birnbach called the Preppy Value System was Effortlessness: “If life is a country club, then all functions should be free from strain.”

The notion that Ms. Birnbach is responsible for the work ethic of a generation is ludicrous.

“Unless you actually have a fat trust fund to underwrite your nonchalance, an aversion to effort is hardly a strategy for success. Which may explain some of our national woes.”

We like Ms. Birnbach; she is talented, witty and loads of fun, but while wielding significant influence, she is not quite so powerful as to be responsible for this:

“Over the last couple of decades we’ve seen the contempt for effort spread far beyond the original preppy demographic. Now it’s commonplace for middle-class kids to go to college and behave as though they are scions of the gentry—abjuring studies and indulging in the bottomless kegger that a recent book dubbed “The Five Year Party.”

Blaming These Challenging Times on any single author just doesn’t work for us.

Next on the review list, AOL’s Daily Finance offers this:

Bruce Watson’s story takes a more reasoned approach:

“…she attached a philosophical component to the look, explicitly wedding the preppy style to a hodgepodge of social values, including traditionalism, thrift, and brand loyalty. In Birnbach’s analysis, preppies buy Brooks Brothers and Orvis because these companies have been in business for over a hundred years and have proven reliability.”

As the monolithic 1980’s preppy culture has fractured into a variety of brands and styles, from Gossip Girl to hip-hop Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren to Vineyard Vines, it’s worth wondering if this explosion of prep may also signal its demise.”

Mr. Watson points to the efforts at updating the fashions offered by some of the stalwarts, like LL Bean’s Signature and Black Fleece at Brooks Brothers, a necessity if such establishments are to compete against trendier, “hipper” (ahem) offerings at retailers like J. Crew. Unfortunately the writer misses an important point in this portion of his story:
“In True Prep, however, conversation positively drips with references to the signs of wealth, as Birnbach instructs readers: “Your car wasn’t in the shop; your Mercedes was getting fixed. You didn’t wear shoes; you wore Manolos.”
The book isn’t instructing readers to converse in this fashion. To the contrary, this specific segment laments the way people speak these days, bemoaning the ostentation and name-dropping and label flashing.  Melanie Spencer’s story in the Austin Statesman illustrates this distinction with a quote from the author:
“”People are oft misbehaving and name-dropping and talking about money,” she says. “It is vulgar. It’s becoming normal. I’m here to help correct. Something as benign as ‘Sex in the City’ sort of sanctioned gross materialism. Instead of saying, ‘Oh, my shoes hurt,’ it’s, ‘My Manolos hurt.’ You are sending all kinds of messages. You can say ‘My car is in the shop.’ You don’t have to say, ‘My Jaguar is in the shop.’ It would be so refreshing for people to go back to those basics.”

We had to laugh aloud at this part of the story, it seems not everyone in Austin was fond of the prep aesthetic. (Gasp!)

“”Preppy fashion was the lowest point in the history of women’s attire,” says longtime Austinite, style and design writer and Austin Monthly Home editor Helen Thompson.”
Oops.  Hopefully Melanie, I Pick Pretty and other notable Austin denizens won’t tell Ms. Thompson next time we visit.
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Enough of the deep thinking, we have an eye-popping Pretty in Pink & Green to share:
The Argyle Pullover is available at Elegant Baby, and there is also a version in blues if looking for something a little more sedate.
With that, we are off to enjoy the weekend, and hope you are able to do the same!

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Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH

Should a Wellie have a Wedge?

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a warm and already sticky delightful Tuesday here at the Prepatorium.

Despite our personal denial of an approaching change of seasons, professionally we understand many readers are eager for cooler temps and fall fashions. Thus, today’s look at new goodies for autumn, although we begin with a question about footwear from Hunter, one of our favorite spots for foul-weather gear.  Are we hopelessly behind the times once again, not realizing the company is doing sandals? Below, the Amber Thong Sandal.

Hunter

We were also not aware Hunter is doing a midheel loafer (rather an oxymoron, IOHO), the Newberry.

Back to those things the company is best known for, boots. There is a new Wedge-heel boot, the Interlaken, as well as a less pronounced wedge, the shorter Andora. How do you feel about wedges for the wellies?

If more of a mind to do something Pretty in Pink, the Women’s Original Tall boot may be the answer; if needing something for your tiny prep, there is always the Kids Original.  

Also Pretty in Pink, this Girl’s Cardigan by Juicy Couture at Saks, on the right, a trendier take is seen in the KC Parker Girl’s Argyle Cardigan, also at Saks.

For the young MOP (Master of your Palace), the Little Marc Jacobs Sweater offers an updated twist to the classic pattern, while the Burberry Vest is done in the more traditional design.

If your MOTH (Man Of The House) enjoys this motif, the cashmere Argyle Sweater at Polo Ralph Lauren is nicely understated, while Brooks Brothers has a Camel Hair Argyle pullover for Men.

Brooks Brothers also offers a divinely discounted men’s Argyle V-neck in that pink and navy combination we’re so fond of, we are half-tempted to purchase the smallest size available and roll up the sleeves!

Brooks Brothers

One of the more lighthearted argyle items we stumbled upon, the Argyle Heart Knee Socks at the Children’s Place, available in three bright and bouncy colorways.

The fun socks aren’t only for the younger set, grownup girls can enjoy them as well; these three pair are all found at the Gap.

Polo Ralph Lauren also has Argyle Leggings in a subdued navy and green design, sadly the logo looks like it is on HGH (horse growth hormones), while the pink and green Knee Socks add a spark of whimsy to one’s outfit.

Moving away from argyle while keeping our gaze on fall fashions, we look at several new offerings from another Princess fave, Sperry. The Angelfish is offered in graphite nubuck and patent.  (We have yet to reconcile using the words ‘Sperry’ or ‘Topsiders’ adjacent to patent leather, it isn’t a look we’re crazy about.)

Sperry Top-sider

This is a style we have always adored, the Heron Rubber Slip-on, available in a variety of colors.

New for men from Sperry’s collaboration with Band of Outsiders, the Reconstructed Penny Loafer (L). No one will be surprised to see we are especially taken with the Authentic Original 3-Eye, also from Band of Outsiders for men.

But then we saw this. On the Sperry site.

Sperry Top-sider Sienna Low Boot

The only word we can come up with to describe the boot is hideosity.  Recognizing (and respecting) Sperry’s heritage is wrapped in the company’s stylized rivets, we just don’t see them used at the top of a wedge ankle boot.

To calm ourselves we returned to a more recognizable design, the Toddler Boy’s Castaway.

Sperry Top-sider Castaway

A look at the Girl’s Bahama helped restore us to sanity.

Sperry Top-sider Bahama

All is right in the world.

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We leave you with an update on True Prep at The Princess, we are now officially taking pre-orders for the book.

We also took a plunge, adding cult classic Take Ivy to our offerings! This re-printing of the very-hard-to-find-original is being released August 31, just one week before True Prep.  From Take Ivy’s publisher:

“Madras plaid, Top-Siders, seersucker shorts, highwater trousers, tweed jackets, Brooks Brothers, J. Press, J. Crew. What comes to mind? Described by The New York Times as, “a treasure of fashion insiders,”Take Ivy was originally published in Japan in 1965, setting off an explosion of American-influenced “Ivy Style” fashion among students in the trendy Ginza shopping district of Tokyo.”

We leave you with three more additions to the store: on the left, the Lilly Pulitzer 2011 Wall Calendar, and on the right, Lilly’s Desktop Calendar for use with an easel, or without.

Also added recently to our collection of Personalized House Flags, military service designs!

And with that bit of shameless self-promotion, we say g’bye until next time!

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Filed under Argyle, Collaborations, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, True Prep & TOPH, When Preppy Goes Wrong

Does J. Crew ‘Help Preppy Go Euro’?

Hello-Hello, and happy Monday! We hope everyone enjoyed a pleasant and restful weekend.

Today we invoke ‘brevity is a virtue’ as our modus operandi, things are a tad frenzied here in our corner condo at Princess HQ.

We look at a story in yesterday’s Sunday Magazine from the Times. “J. Crew Helps Preppy Go Euro” analyzes the ongoing transformation of J. Crew’s position in the marketplace, starting with a little background on the retailer:

“… with its anodyne clubby name and clothes that ripped off L.L. Bean, Brooks Brothers and J. Press, J. Crew seemed to spoof the preppy style while making it available.”

We loved the photo illustration that accompanied the article.

Kevin Van Aelst/NY Times

Writer Virginia Heffernan deftly examines the company’s move toward a different aesthetic, referencing a specific sailor shirt featured on Crew’s website.

“The shirt is sporty and thus not un-American, while also signifying “Paris,” a new concept jcrew.com has been audaciously colonizing. The site twinkles with references to France and haute couture, and recently it has positioned dissipated and mysterious Euro-type models in the slots that used to be reserved for “J. Crew models” — fresh-faced, wholesome strawberry blondes.

The shirt under discussion:

J. Crew

We hadn’t really noticed a change in models, but then, we spend very little time on the site or looking at the catalog.  Have you noticed a drift toward a more European look in the models?

The story also revisits a topic discussed and whined about ad nauseam occasionally in this space, most recently in an April post we titled “J. Crew’s Disdain for Preppy“.  Back to yesterday’s Times:

“The stateside European, in J. Crew’s imagining, wears all our usual American stuff — shorts, T-shirts, cargo pants, polo shirts — but has no use whatsoever for the simplicity and androgyny that used to be hallmarks of preppy.”

Referencing the impact of design director Jenna Lyons and CEO Mickey Drexler, the story shares this perspective:

“Every outfit seems slightly hacked — cut up and embellished by a home tailor. You don’t envision someone in J. Crew playing lacrosse anymore; they seem more likely to be philosophizing and seducing. “I have a hard time with the word ‘preppy,’ ” Lyons told Style.com not long ago. “It’s very coastal, and it leaves out a lot of Americans who aren’t yachting or going to the beach club.”

This summer, then, what is the new J. Crew ideal? Not the East Hampton WASP, not anymore. Rather, it’s the sultry au pair watching the children. In sequins.”

Our favorite part of the article has to be this segment:

WHEN WASPS BLOG
Those days of preppy names in print only at birth, marriage and death are long over. Now they can’t stop . . .musing. For modest laughs: To the Manner Born, WASP 101, Tickled Pink and Green, Muffy Martini, Pink Washingtoniette, 2PreppyGirls and Summer Is a Verb.

Reading this group of names at the end of the story had us grinning ear to ear. Congratulations to all included! The story is fascinating, click here to read it in its entirety.

A related note of interest, J. Crew is doing their Final Sale promotion again, offering an additional 20% off sale-priced merchandise.

J. Crew

The promotion runs through this Thursday, July 15. Use the code EXTRA20 at checkout to receive the discounted pricing.

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We apologize for the brevity of today’s post; the flood of orders for these….

Lilly Pulitzer Agendas at PreppyPrincess.com

Has prompted the creation of one of these stacks everyday here at the Prepatorium, as the Consort and I our immense staff of Princess Pixies get the Lilly Agendas headed out the door!

Christmas in July?

Heaven only knows what the stack of Lilly iPhone Covers will look like when they are shipped in early August, eeek!

On that note, g’bye until next time!

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Filed under preppy